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Spock's Beard - The Kindness Of Strangers  CD (album) cover

THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

3.75 | 372 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

progaardvark
Prog Reviewer
5 stars With Spock's Beard's third release in 1997, The Kindness of Strangers, they seemed to put together what could be argued as their best release ever. This album flows much better than their previous two masterpieces and includes probably two of the best compositions that band ever conceived, Harm's Way and Flow. The band still maintains that raw energy they've carried from their debut album, however the music on The Kindness of Strangers appears more tighter. Lyrically it appears Neal Morse has really improved upon his ideas for subject areas to sing and write about. The most notable improvement is in Alan Morse's guitar work. His performance on the previous two Spock's Beard albums was quite exceptional in my opinion, but on this album, he incorporates a lot of soaring and majestic tones to his solos. From this album forward I have considered him to be one of the best in the prog world, though he seems to be quite underrated.

Like their previous effort on Beware of Darkness, Morse composed a group of shorter songs and three longer pieces. Their longer pieces are considered their hallmark compositions, but on The Kindness of Strangers, even the shorter tracks are memorable. Again, the Beard made another attempt at some more radio-friendly pieces, notably June and Strange World. June is especially AOR-oriented, but Strange World fits firmly centered between AOR and prog rock. Both are exquisitely beautiful compositions.

The Kindness of Strangers is a remarkable performance and to my ears one of the best progressive rock albums released in the 1990s. I would go as far as saying that it easily ranks up with the best from the 1970s. A five-star masterpiece and very highly recommended.

progaardvark | 5/5 |

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